Newsday Tuesday – A Celebration of Cats



November is the ASPCA’s Adopt a Senior Pet Month. It’s also National Pet Cancer Awareness Month and National Pet Diabetes Awareness Month. Yes, our dear pets of all kinds can get cancer and diabetes and other diseases we might think of as being suffered only by humans.

Everyone who has lived among cats for very long has probably known a cat with kidney disease, cancer, maybe diabetes… Maybe you lost a cat to a mysterious ailment you could not identify and you didn’t have the means to care properly for the cat. Many of us have been there—thank heavens we have the opportunity to grow and learn. I lost three cats to feline leukemia before the veterinarians knew how to diagnose or treat it. It is only looking back, that I realize what we’d been dealing with. Along with all of you others who adore cats, I’m grateful that I have more information and awareness and that our veterinarians do, as well.

I’ll tell you what I know. Cats live longer and suffer less when the owner is informed and aware and has a good relationship with a veterinary team.

We almost lost Lily three times. Three times, she suffered some sort of trauma—an lily8months-037in-home accident, a reaction to a vaccine, and the failing of her kidneys. She lives a happy and healthy life today at age 7 because she is an inside cat, thus it’s easier to keep a close eye on her; because we know more about when the situation is serious and action is necessary; and because we are willing to reach out to our local veterinarians and, when necessary, consult by phone or Internet with specialists across the country. And we listen to what the experts say while also listening to what Lily tells us by her actions and reactions.

Through our trials with Lily’s health, our bond with her has strengthened. She’s been healthy for years—despite the fact that she does have kidney disease, which is monitored regularly and managed through diet at this point. We are like mother hens over this little chick. We couldn’t adore a cat more. And love and adoration and pampering must be a mighty strong healing agent because this little tabby is sure responding to it.

Love your kitties. The reward is greater than you can imagine.

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